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Might and Magic IX

by BES te Black Dragon
page 2
Well, let us proceed with our adventure. You are perhaps wondering why it is that there are still four characters in the party if we intend to play solo game? Reasonable question and here is the answer.

To have the solo game you need to sacrifice three other characters of the party. You cannot just point on the character and kill him/her. If you want to kill somebody in your party, you need to start killing the whole party with simultaneous healing of the main character you would like to preserve alive. At the location where you are now there are no available facilities and means for healing your main hero, and it would be really very hard for you (especially if you are not experienced in the game yet) to leave the first island with only one character. Therefore, you will have to stick with the full party for a little while, but believe me, it is very small and insignificant part of the first stage of the game.

However, if you want to begin directly from here with only one character, contact me by email and I will send you the detailed instruction, but be prepared for the very long and hard passing of the first island of the game.

Now with this cleared, we exit the training hall and go to the outer world, i.e. out from the village. From now on, you are in the real game with then real enemies and serious tasks ahead of you.

Here I have to make the small pause and read a short summarised course on the basic battle rules for solo game.

Basic Battle Rules

All fighting you do only in the Real Time Mode. No Turn-based Mode (*Enter* button) in the solo game whatsoever! Forget about button *enter*. You can use it only in case of emergency, when you need urgently to heal your character, fix (repair) the broken weapon or armour, switch the spells, change your position in battle or slip by your enemy. Using turn-based mode in other cases during the solo can result in the ultimate disaster - death of your character.

You must always follow this rule.  This rule is so important because of the speed of your enemies. In the turn-based mode they move and hit you twice as fast as you, even if you speed will rise up to 115. On the contrary, when fighting in the real time mode your speed of hitting the enemy rises significantly, especially if you use only magic spells.

Here are the comparisons for you to make the conclusions.

First comparison - speed:
Turn-based mode has the musket speed of shooting.
Real time mode has the automatic machine-gun speed of shooting.

Second comparison - your future partner Forad and distribution of the hits received from enemy:

In turn-based mode, the order of the hits looks like this:
-          You turn to hit enemy
-          Forad's turn to hit enemy
-          Enemy's turn - there are, say for example 5 of them, and all of them surrounded you and every one hits        you, not Forad (he is not the worthy target for your enemies most of the time)
-          Again, there is the Forad's turn to hit the enemy, not yours as you have probably thought! It is the                Forad's turn! Why? Because the speed of Forad and the enemies' speed is faster than yours is. You are         simply too slow.
-          Enemy's turn again! The whole five of them, and all the hits are aimed at you! At least they try very             much to get you.
-          Finally, your turn to hit comes.

As you can see you will receive 10 hits before there will be the turn for you to place your mighty kick at the enemy. You have to agree that the case of 1:10 proportion is not the best path to win this game.

In real time mode there is no order of hits, no waiting time. You just kick and blast, and shoot and cast and do whatever is necessary to survive and win. When you use only magic spells in battle your speed will increase even more and the ratio will look in your favour this way: you do from 2 till 4 spells on the enemy and the enemy hits you only once.

Do not rush into the battle. Look carefully at your opponent(s) and assess the situation. How many of them? Who are they? What are they doing - flying, shooting, spellcasting? How strong they are? To know all these facts you need to learn your enemies beforehand.

Check what spell you have as the quick combat spell and set the most effective and appropriate for this battle. Always check how much mana strength your character still has, especially if it is not your first battle this day.
If your mana is low, choose another effective but less costly spell for the quick combat function. However, do this only in case of easy targets and not very numerous. Otherwise, restore mana before engaging yourself in the battle.

Pay attention to the landscape and surroundings around you. Try to find corner, niche, and wall, anything solid, unanimated and not aggressive to which you can turn your back and stand your fight. Always remember that you are alone against your enemies.

In the battle, do not disperse your strength by hitting one than another target (there is exception when using the specific spells like Poison). Always concentrate your hits on one target until you kill it, and only then move your attention to another target. Remember that nearly dead target presents the same danger as the healthy target because they inflict the same amount of damage to you.

Before engaging yourself in fight, check your inventory free space. Otherwise, it could happen that after the battle, you will not have any place to put your loot and treasuries you will find and they will be lost for you. You do not want this to happen as these things are vitally important in the game - they mean new weapon and artefacts you can use and extra funds if you will sell them later.

Should you feel you could not win the battle, do not be a stubborn proud fool and run for the first place, where you can catch your breath and lick your wounds. It could be the nearest town or at least the nearest place already cleared from the enemies. Just do not delay far too long - you still need enough life in you to do this. 

The most important one that I will not be tired to repeat again and again - always make a game save before engaging in any conflict with enemy.

Uff. That is it. I need a coffee break. My throat is sore already and you simply would not hear me in all those loud sounds and noises of future battles if I will lose my voice. :)

Last Check

Okay, are we ready?

Inventory - check
Weapons ready - check
Quick spell Elemental Bolt for combat for the magical characters - check
Jump up and down (use button *X*), squat (use button *C*) - nothing clicking or rub sore - check
Game saved - check
Oh, nearly forgot - in the battle you will use only the right mouse button now. Magical characters will shoot with their spells, might characters will shoot with their bows.

Okay, shall we go?

First Battle and First Journey

You go through the gates and walk into the passage among the rocks. In this passage, you will meet your first enemies. There will be several creatures looking like bright red flowers. As soon as you will see them  point your mouse on them and fire to kill while slowly moving ahead. 
To hit/shoot the enemy you always need to have the enemy within your eyesight. Should you loose the target when it comes too close to you, find immediately its location. Otherwise, it could attack you from behind. 

You killed your first enemies and you came to the docks. Just walk to the boat and the movie clip will switch on.

Pleasant sea voyage for you! I hope you will not be a victim of seasickness as there are no doctors with modern medicine on the ancient drakkar in the open sea.
Just in case, pick up several smooth small pebbles from the seashore before boarding the drakkar and put them in the mouth. Roll them inside your mouth. This is the old proven remedy against seasickness. Good Luck!
The First Island  Isle of Ashes
Skeletons and Dragonflies

Oh, here you are! This is Isle of Ashes - the second largest island in the game.

Okay, what we need to do first? Yes, correct  - save the game.
Now turn and go to the water edge. There on the shore you will see a chest - open it and take what is inside.

The main character that knows the Disarm Trap skill should open all chests.

With the chest looted, walk back up the shore. Save the game. Look around yourself. To the right and ahead of you should be a passage through the rocks. We go there. Our next enemies will wait for us there. This time it is the Skeletons. The first of them is hiding behind a tree ahead of you and a little to the right. Step closer to the rock face and move carefully forward. As soon as you spot the Skeleton - attack it.
Finished with it - do not stop - move forward. New Skeletons in front of you - do not stop your movement; just attack them while you are walking. One of the Skeletons with some brains in its skull still left will run to the right and circle you from behind - turn around and show it that the breathing life form is the superior one to the undead. Do not worry - you will not even have time to become afraid, as all your enemies would be dead already.

Move forward to the bridge and the noise ahead of you. This noise means that it is a Dragonfly nearby. Look up at the skies and you will see it flying above the bridge. Attack it without any second thoughts and you will kill it. Check the place where the dead Dragonfly fall to the ground - there should be a small grey sack on this spot, either on the bridge or maybe on the railing. Click space bar on this sack - you get your trophy after the battle. The same way you will collect all other sacks in the game.
If you have been extremely unlucky and did not find the sack - this means that it dropped in the water and sank. Do not be upset with this - there was no any king's ransom inside.

Now, let us move to the next passage through the rocks. The first Skeleton will be hiding the same way as the previous ones - ahead in the bushes to the right. The moment you see it - attack. However, the Skeletons are learning too and now when you have attacked the first, two more Skeletons and Dragonfly will come from the passage to check the commotion. Fix all of them.

It is time to check your status. Undoubtfully, you will be hurt after all these battles.  You need to catch your breath and restore your strength. Therefore, save the game, press button *R* and choose the option *sleep 8 hours*.

After the rest, check the portraits of your characters - look at the bars reflecting life status and mana status. They are full, are they? That is good - you are ready to go further. Save the game and walk into the rock passage. You will meet the familiar now enemies and you already know how to deal with them. Clear your way until you will exit the passage.
Forad Darre and Yrsa the Troll

You finally burst to the open place from the rocky passage. To the right from you, there is the bridge. There is a man standing near it. Come closer to him and look carefully at this guy - he is your companion in the game. Talk to him. His name is Forad Darre and he will tell you that you need to visit Yrsa the Troll.

This done, you check the condition of your characters. I bet they are the sorry mess. Save - sleep 8 hours - save. This should be already the common routine for you and I will try not to repeat it.
Forad Darre
Now we need to find this Yrsa the Troll so insistently recommended by Forad. Walk a little bit ahead and then into the new passage through the rocks.  There will be fight in the passage. You will be wounded. However, nothing lethal and you need to do the final effort through one more passage ahead.
Finally, you reached your goal. There is the house of Yrsa the Troll. Go inside and talk to the troll lady. She will tell you that you must kill Dragonflies. Okay, talking is the hard job, especially after all the fighting you have done to get here. Therefore, after the conversation with Yrsa, sleep in the comfort of her house, and it is definitely better than the bare rocks outside. Save after waking up and go out of the house.

Look around you. To the left behind the house, there is the well, which heals your characters by restoring hit points (life). To use the well - simply walk closer to it and click space bar.
Yrsa the Troll
The active character whose portrait is glowing will be healed. To restore the health of the next character use the button *tab* - the next portrait will become active and so on, until all your party would not be in the perfect condition.  

Now we need to do the bidding of Yrsa the Troll and check out these nasty Dragonflies. To find them we need to go through the tunnel in the rocks right in front of the Yrsa's house. Walk inside the tunnel and move forward. When you will reach nearly the end of it, stop and be careful. Stand so that the tunnel exit is right ahead of you (just step a little bit to the right for this). You will see the Dragonflies flying among the trees. Save the game and begin shooting with everything you have, but do it sparingly. Shoot at one target. Is it a hit? Is it dead? Perfect! Wait now. The next Dragonfly will fly to you - then shoot it, though without letting it come too close to your characters.

Now you see that two Dragonflies come to you at once and one of it is not the usual green colour but the red one. Quickly disengage from the battle and go back to the passage. Your characters will be wounded - go back to the healing well near the Yrsa's house and restore your strength. Life is replenished, but the magical characters spent all their mana and the well didn't restore it. Then you need to sleep, the well alone is not enough to bring you back into the battle form. 

Morning! Wake up, adventurers! Sun is high already and there is no time for coffee - just a gulp of water from the well - and march to the battle with the Dragonflies left from yesterday. Save the game and march, march, march to the tunnel! Glory is hard to earn and we have just started. 

After the last Dragonfly will go down you will hear the peculiar clicking tone ring - this is the way to show you that the quest of killing all Dragonflies given to you by Yrsa the troll was fulfilled. The same tone you will hear every time you will successfully fulfil any quest in the game.

Nevertheless, do not be in any hurry to leave the location - there could be a couple of the Dragonflies left somewhere around. Walk to the forest straight ahead and check everything carefully to be sure.
By the way, I hope you did not forget about these little grey sacks with the small change left after the fallen enemies. It is a perfect time now to collect them and fill your purse a little bit.

Exploring the location, you stumble upon the chest at the end of it. Did you open it? Did you hear the loud *Boom!*, which sounded suspiciously like an explosion?  Yes? Well, didn't I tell you that only the character with the Disarm Trap skill should open the chests? However, everyone is still alive and it is good. Learn your lesson and pick up everything from the chest.

Now we must return to Yrsa to report, but do not forget to drink from the well to restore the health after the chest explosion. Chat with Yrsa and go back to Forad. 

"Hello, Forad! Didn't see you for a while." Speak with the man, and at the end we have to take him as the companion - you will see that his portrait will appear at the right side of the screen. 

Okay, now we go back to Yrsa and tell her about such great newswell, actually, we are asking her about the door. The lady is courteous and she gives you the key to the door. Check your inventory - the key is there.

Now we have what we need, and we go back to the bridge where Forad was waiting for our coming to this world so patiently.

This long bridge leads across the fjord to yet another island with the ruins on it. This is where you need to go. Hey, stop at the end of the bridge.  Do not be in such a hurry to die. Look ahead - see the Skeleton on a ledge? This is your goal. Shoot the Skeleton. Good aiming! Now move forward. What? Another Skeleton? Well, here it goes after the first.  Do not rush. Now they will be appearing before you from the fire and run directly to you - save your strength for the warm welcome to them.
You did well. What you need to do now? Of course, collect the sacks and save the game. You did it already? Okay, I promise not to remind you again.
Skeleton emerging from the fire
Now, go up to the ruins and walk around them from the left side - be careful, the path is narrow and the rocks are slippery. Well, well, look what did we find - the entrance!   The window appears asking you do you really want to enter. Strange question, is it?  Of course, we want to enter and we press *OK*!

While the new location is loading, there is some time for explanations.

To enter or to exit the towns and the game locations placed outside the towns you need simply to walk into the door or the gates and this window asking you do you want to enter/exit will appear. If you changed your mind and do not want to enter/exit, just press *cancel*. If you pressed *cancel* by mistake, no problem too, just walk a couple of steps away and return to the entrance/exit.

Okay, we are inside this new place and it is not the very pleasant place at it. However, do not be alarmed before time - there will be no fight here in the darkness. You are still too inexperienced for the local monsters, like an elephant fighting with a cat, and you are a cat in this comparison, naturally.  :)

Hey, hey! Where do you think you are going? Oh-ho, the curiosity maybe did not kill the cat but it certainly would kill you if you do not stop pecking around the dangerous places like this. 
Doors? Of course, I see the doors! Did you see the sign *Welcome* on them too? Must I put the sign *Do not disturb!* on all the doors you are NOT supposed to open at the moment?

Now, listen to me and listen carefully. You need only the chest with some stuff inside and if you were born under the lucky star, it could be even rather good things.

Where did you go now? Did I tell you already where exactly is this chest? Didn't I tell you zillionth times already - save the game before doing anything even remotely dangerous? Perhaps, it will be better if I kill you myself and spare all the trouble? No? Okay, I am giving you one more chance.

Now, we are calmly walking straight ahead to the water. Stop, to the right there is the passage - yes, this one, with only one door. Walk inside and go to the chest that is standing near the fallen column. Open the chest. BOOM!

Oh, what can I do with you? Are you an amateur member of the bomb squad? No? Then why do you touch the things that are booby-trapped? Do you want to be the first in line to the heaven? No, this trick will not work here - who will be doing all the work with saving the world then? You will have your chance to visit the heaven later, I promise you this, and now let us do the second take.

The main character, who knows the Disarm Trap skill gently and masterfully opens the chest and no *boom!*, but very good things inside. Quickly transfer everything from the chest to the inventory and run from here. We return to the place from where we have started and go up the stairs.

Do not look at me this way - you will have the chance to return here and fight and even die a couple of times.  Now, stop talking - and say *OK* that you want to exit.
Uff, we are outside on the fresh air. Go back along the wall and at the corner turn right to go down - there is the door there - and it is exactly what we need.
Go straight to the door, turn and wait. Wait for what? This - see three Skeletons climbing out of the dirt? Well, kill them. Now when nobody can disturb us, we open the door and go inside.

We are in the room. There is a stand before you. There is a book on the stand. This book is why we did all the above. However, do not touch it yet! Look to the right - there is the chest  - open it. Yes, there is not too much there, but stop complaining about what you got free.
Now, this place is the final moment of the initial part of the game. Now is the good time to decide how you will be playing the rest of the game - solo game or the full party.

Should you decide to play the full party - okay, it is your choice, no problem here. My help will be useful anyway, just skip the small part below necessary for starting the solo game and resume reading from the next section, after you will click on the book and watch the video.

Should you decide to play solo - well, I am glad for you and then we need to initiate the solo game in real before you will click on the book.

Starting Solo Game

We go back all the way to the Yrsa's house and heal only the main hero, who will be your soloist, in the well. After this go back through the passage and walk to the seashore. Save the game and come closer to the water edge. Go into the water until you are completely submerged and then turn to face the shore. Now wait under the water.

The blue bar of the air supply at the bottom of the screen will disappear. Now is the time to observe carefully the green bar with the life signs (hit points) of your main character. As soon as it becomes yellow, quickly come out of the water and return to the healing well.

Heal the main character and ignore the three others. Oh, nearly forgot, never do you worry about Forad - this guy is incapable of get drowning as well as of other ways to die, unfortunately. Downright like Highlander from the famous SF movie. The worst that could happen to him - it is the unconscious state.

Do not forget to transfer all the items from other characters to the inventory of your main hero. Otherwise, when they finally depart to the better world, it will be already late, as their things will be broken.

Now repeat the procedure with going under water - healing the main character until you will get three neat grave monuments instead of the portraits of your there initial characters. 

Now you are truly alone, do not count Forad - he will not be of much help anyway.  The solo game has been initiated from here.

Return to the ruins and to the room with the book.

Click on the book; watch the video where you were successfully transported to the new place with new adventures. See you there!